Church Life

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Why I Don’t Believe in The Apostles’ Creed

UPDATE: Please read the article all the way through. I am not saying that I don’t believe the Apostles’ Creed. Far from it. I do! Our church recites it at times. What I am saying is that it cannot be used to define the gospel of Jesus Christ. So please read the article carefully.- Chap

Ok, it is time to come out of the closet.

I don’t believe in The Apostles’ Creed.

The Apostles’ Creed dates from very early times in the church, perhaps a half-century or so from the last book of the New Testament.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty.
Maker of heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord.
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius […]

Finding a College Fellowship

I entered my college, 1200 miles away from home, naive about finding Christian fellowship. I felt relief flood my heart as I saw a big banner on the activities night festival displaying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life – Jesus.” That campus group played a huge role in answering my questions and helping me grow.

How can we help our children find group? I just ran across Campus Crusade’s (Cru as it is now called) geographical index. I thought it might be helpful to others. It is not that easy to find. The link is here.

In addition, have you thought with them about where they will go to church? It might be good to settle on two or three choices before the year […]

Encouraging The Preachers in Your Life

Tim  Challies has an excellent inside peek at what many preachers go through.I can testify that he articulates well the internal chemistry that I often have.  His points:

1. Preaching can be discouraging.
Preaching is a spiritual battle.
Preaching is a mental battle.
The preacher’s whole week culminates in the sermon.
Preaching is exhausting.

2. Preachers are fragile.
“To preach, to really preach, is to die naked a little at a time, and to know that each time you do it, that you must do it again.”

3. Measuring success in preaching is difficult.

4. Preaching is a joy.

Read the whole thing.
Normally, we don’t think about how exhausting preaching is and how to minister to preachers. Your family needs preachers and preaching. They serve you. Are you encouraging them and serving them? (Hebrews 13:17b)

Church Life|

Timothy and the Power of Apologetics in Overcoming Doubt

I recently had the privilege of speaking at Crossway Church and spent some time talking about how parents can disciple their children in the faith. In this talk I answer:

1. What influences were there on Timothy’s life (and should there be in our children’s lives)?

2. What process did Timothy go through growing up as a believer (and our children will go through)?

3. Why is apologetics so important in overcoming doubt?

4. What is inoculation and why is it important?

I would be happy to give a similar talk for your group.

Enjoy.

Download here

10 Tips on Going to Church as a Family

Part of our family discipleship comes out in how we think of our church family. I have written a whole booklet on the matter of worshiping together. Here, Christine Jensen gives her 10 Tips on Going to Church as a Family. Since I am a sucker for lists, I have reprinted it below.

For my part, here are my top ten tips:
1. Go every Sunday
2. Go with joy and expectation
3. Arrive on time
4. Pray as a family before you arrive
5. Treat church as an extended family gathering
6. Stay until the end
7. Speak well of church
8. Receive the word with thankfulness
9. Look for new people and people with needs
10. Thank your minister

Read the whole thing with her comments here.

Church Life|

Are We Training Our Young Adults in What to Look For in a Church?

Kevin DeYoung has a helpful article about how churches that would seem to be in agreement on the surface can actually get off track. I am sending this article to my older children. Below are his ten points. As he says, the problem is not liberalism in churches but “squishy evangelicalism.” Read his whole article to help your children (and you) diagnose squishy evangelicalism.

1. The mission of the church has gotten sidetracked.
2. The church has become over-accommodating.
3. The gospel is assumed.
4. There is no careful doctrinal delineation.
5. The ministry of the word is diminished.
6. People are not called to repentance.
7. There is no example of carefully handling specific texts of Scripture.
8. There is no functioning ecclesiology.
9. There is an almost complete disregard for church discipline.
10. […]

When Should Your Child Be Baptized: Three Criteria

Over at the Gospel Coalition there is an excellent article about when to baptize young, professing children. This is an area fraught with blessing and danger. No parent should take the issue lightly.

Trevin Wax has an article that I really like. If churches really are throwing tiny children into the water that certainly is not honoring the Lord. I love the comment,“If your child still believes in Santa, he’s probably too young for you to know just what he believes about Jesus.” 9 Marks posts an article that is on the other end of the spectrum. Smith argues against a young age and for an older age. (I believe they baptize in the late teens.)

All in this discussion are arguing for believer’s baptism. None are […]

Hints on Parenting from 1 Timothy 3:4-5

He must mange his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 1 Timothy 3:4,5

This verse is filled with fruit both for family leadership and church leadership.
1. Men live out the gospel at home.
This verse makes clear that one aspect of spiritual maturity is how men live in their homes. Living out the gospel means ruling our homes well and parenting well. This issue is so vital that God makes it an issue for elders and deacons. We cannot become so “spiritual” that we ignore how we live in our homes.

2. It […]

Our Children Will Learn What We are Excited About

I heard this at the conference and it made an impact on me. I have reprinted it below with my italics. HT: CJ Mahaney

If I have learned anything in 35 or 40 years of teaching, it is that students don’t learn everything I teach them. What they learn is what I am excited about, the kinds of things I emphasize again and again and again and again. That had better be the gospel.

If the gospel—even when you are orthodox—becomes something which you primarily assume, but what you are excited about is what you are doing in some sort of social reconstruction, you will be teaching the people that you influence that the gospel really isn’t all that important. You won’t be saying that—you won’t even mean […]

Interview with David Helm Author of The Big Picture Story Bible

David Helm talks about how the Big Picture Story Bible came about. at Between Two Worlds

My notes below:
18:04 – How do we energize the body to make home ministry a priority?
The church, which is the buttress and foundation of the truth, has a foundation of the family.

23:30 Raising Gospel kids not good kids.
Raising good kids and gospel kids is a matter of life and death.
Not just raising them to answer the phone correctly. OT is not Aesop fables. Moses, there is more going on that God took care of Moses. Graham Goldsworth – Gospel and Kingdom
Devotional preaching of OT is killing us. These stories are not Aesops fables but about God’s redemptive story and kingdom.
Also, how are we dealing with their conscience? They […]